Insights into Pharma Market Trends and HCP Channel Preferences

Yesterday, Healio Strategic Solutions and the DHC Group released topline data from the first wave of a planned longitudinal look at HCP channel preferences coupled with a survey of pharma marketers. In front of a live audience at Pfizer headquarters in NYC, Mark Bard (Co-Founder, The DHC Group) and Adrienne Stevens Ed.D, (VP, Head of Scientific Strategy, Healio) discussed the implications derived from phase one of the research. The goal of the project was to create a survey model that could be used annually to continuously evaluate the learning behaviors and needs of HCPs and advise pharma companies on the best tactics for reaching HCPs and providing solutions to their pain points.

For those DHC newsletter readers who weren’t able to join us in person or tune into the live stream, here is a look at some of the key findings and implications, along with a link to download the slides.

Pharma Market Trends – Transformation, Budget Shifts, and Field Force

Survey responses from 70 pharmaceutical executives confirmed that over half (57%) agree that the acceleration of digital transformations and strategies often attributed to the pandemic era is here to stay. A lesser group (29%) contend that while there was a temporary acceleration, they are seeing a shift back towards pre-pandemic thinking. Whether temporary or long-term, we were able to dig deeper into what that transformation looks like for patient and HCP focused efforts since respondents overwhelmingly agreed that we will continue to see an increased reliance on digital with regards to both HCP (74%) and patients (83%) communications.

Some key takeaways on how pharma execs see that playing out include:

And speaking of the field force, results indicate that marketers predict a continued shift from personal to non-personal promotion, with the goal of having the two work together through the help of digital tools. When give the opportunity to explain in their own words, key ideas emerged such as:

“The field force evolved dramatically in the early days of the pandemic…and the past 12 months have been about seeking the “next” normal. They are getting out, pushing transformation, and continuing digital interactions where it makes sense…but getting access to customers is a continuously evolving challenge.”

“Field reps are learning to use other tools to reach their customers rather than traditional face to face. They are learning how to be part of a bigger picture…with many channels not controlled by them. They are learning to follow suggestions generated by home office AI.”

Physician Insights – Social Insights, Resources, and Customer Experiences

Given our goal of achieving a layered understanding of both pharma trends and physician educational resources trends, it was important to look at how those predictions by pharma executives lined up against what our survey of 1000 HCPs told us as well. Analyzed by Healio Strategic Solution’s Adrienne Stevens, several key insights emerged in consideration of clinicians current preferences in receiving education, connecting with peers, and style of content.
Digital Physician Tools Are Heavily Used
Reliance on Peer-to-Peer content/Physician Portals

How Pharma Fits In – The Customer’s Experience

One aspect of this research was designed to look at how physicians feel about their experience with pharma companies today. There is certainly room for improvement, with only 25% of respondents agreeing that “pharma communicates in a relevant and personal manner” and even less at 16% indicating that they feel really understand as a physician by pharma cos. Growth opportunities were also uncovered around whether or not the industry is currently doing a good job of coordinating and integrating content sources and in delivering relevant content that HCPs need. It’s clear in this first look at the robust study data that we are in a time of fast transformation and reconsideration as an industry when it comes to how HCP communication is designed and implemented. We trust that the physician insights will be informative as marketers look to make further shifts to a more coordinated and seamless approach to designing the HCP customer experience. Additional looks at this data and accompanying analysis will be released in the coming weeks and we would be happy to discuss them with you.

Click here to download the slides from the presentation